Friday, April 25, 2014

Beads, Beads, Beads

Well good morning to all.  Next up in my thought process for seed beaders is the beads of course.

Many people, in fact most people skip this step.  They simply don't think it is necessary or can be done "on the fly" (as they are working their design).  However, I am a firm believer of this step, even though it is very time consuming.  For me it is well worth the time because once I have created the design I want to work, I want to get on with it and I want it to work up as quickly as I can move my needle and I don't want to see any distortion in the design.  This will happen to you if you miss this step or if you are not extremely vigilant while your are beading.

Culling your beads.  I typically like to do this when my bead order arrives on my doorstep.  This is not always possible, since my deliveries are usually fairly early in the day and I have my grandson's school work to manage.  He takes priority you see. So most of my beading and blogging and creative work is done very late at night when the little man and his mother are asleep and the house is totally quiet.  That is another reason for the full spectrum lighting that I mentioned in part one of this series.

In order to cull your beads, you do need the lighting or daylight, pour your beads onto your work surface and take a close look at all the beads, move them about, My tool of choice for this is either tweezers or a retired needle.  In doing this you will find beads that are not the same size, shape or with the same hole diameter.  This is very important because when you work with seed beads, especially delica beads, you want them to fit together nicely and if they are not the same size, this will be impossible and enough of these little mistakes will ruin the look of your piece.

I know, I know, you all say well buy better quality beads,  Yep, I do that.  I use only Myuki beads whenever possible, especially with delicas and 15/0 seed beads.  With larger sizes it is not quite as important to cull but still I do it because I want my beading to be uniform in appearance.  Do I miss some?  Absolutely, all the time. None of us are perfect and for me, even with great lighting, my eyesight plays tricks on me sometimes.

Also not only does the size matter, some beads are larger or shorter or whatever, but the diameter of the hole is not always the same.  For instance I just did a bracelet that I found even though my sizes were very nearly perfect, the hole was not, there were some I simply could not get onto my needle at all and then there were some I realized would break if I had to go through them more than once or twice.

So remember, that in every single bead, you are taking a needle and two threads through initially and some of those beads are going to have that happen at least one more time and sometimes twice more, so even though only a single strand of thread remains initially once you have it in place, you are always taking a needle and two threads through to begin with.     SOOOOOOO Please check the beads, cull them when you get them and then you are done.  Because once you are creating your piece is not the time to find that you can't get your needle through it or go back through it again and you will have to undo your work or at worst, remove work because you have a bead you can get through when you need to or you break it trying to get through.

So for me spending the tine culling and checking my beads is more than worth the effort because then I can bead away without worry and frustration.

Remember to stay tuned for the next part in this series, Needles and more.

Have a blessed day!
Pam

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